Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Books, movies, music - Media

I have seen three movies in that last few weeks - "The Help" "Drive" and "The Conspirator."
All good in their own way and each spoke to a different part of me.
Like many people, I had read "The Help" when it first came out and was anxious to see the movie and it was good - but not as good as the book. What I found myself thinking about was that I had lived through this period - not in the south, but in the east - I was probably 14 at the time when the book/movie was set. Little did I realize that our country was going through a real transformation - as both civil rights and the feminist movement came shone a light on the racist and sexist world which was our norm. What I know is that we continue to struggle with both issues - some 40 years later - but it looks different now. But this movie was a really interesting and engaging depiction of a style of living that was in transition.

Chuck and I watched "The Conspirator" on TV (On Demand) This movie was directed by Robert Redford and came out to very little box office interest - but it was a really riveting and powerful film. It was about the trial of Mary Surratt who ran a boarding house in which John Wilkes Booth and her son lived and probably conspired together for the assasination of Lincoln. Her lawyer was reluctant to take the case but eventually came to see her humanity and want to provide a fair trial at a time that the government was more interested in results than justice. I won't give the end away, but it was very good. It made you think about how a country reacts after a crisis that has shaken the nation. Great acting!

The third movie was "Drive." Chuck wanted to see this because Chuck likes car races and the actor - Ryan Gosling was compared to Steve McQueen - one of Chuck's favorites. Chuck so rarely wants to go to the movies that I thought this was a good thing. And what was noteworthy about the "hero" was that he was a man of few words - always good since Chuck has so much trouble hearing dialogue! The film was interesting- very stylized, haunting music, a couple of car scene - not so much that as really graphic blood spurting violence. Both of us were unprepared for the amount of almost casual brutality and blood in this film. As one who LOVED Dirty Harry movies - this was over the top even for me. But more people will watch this movie than "The Conspirator" by far.

Other media that I love are books - not just written and read but also listened to. I just finished hearing another one of the "Cat Who" mysteries on audio and I just loved it. These are by Lillian Jackson Braun and featurfeature a reporter named James Qwilleran and his Siamese cats, Kao K'o-Kung (Koko for short) and Yum-Yum.
They are set "Up North" and in this fictitious environment I find a sense of comfort and there is always a nice little murder to be solved by the cats.

Finally, I want to write something about music. I just visited a 95 year old shut in of our church who wanted to remind me that she loves "The Old Rugged Cross" and every night as she goes to bed, she listens to Elvis sing it. And I just was touched by that picture.

So, media - affects the way we think and feel and sleep.
For sure.

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